Dean's Welcome

Dean RaymondWelcome to the University of Wisconsin Law School website!

We hope our site conveys the stimulating atmosphere, diverse student body, and world-class faculty and programs you’ll find here.

Top students are drawn to UW Law School because of our tradition of excellence and innovation, our school’s setting in the heart of one of the world's leading research universities, our reputation for efficiency and value, and our law-in-action approach to teaching and learning the law — an approach that sets us apart from other law schools.

We are located in Madison, Wisconsin, a beautiful and affordable city located close to three major cities: Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. As the state capital, Madison is home to many courts and state and federal government agencies, which create extensive learning opportunities for our students. Madison combines the excitement of a Big Ten college town with a thriving arts and music scene, eclectic restaurants, beautiful scenic areas, and a culture of environmental sustainability. 

Our students span a variety of backgrounds, ages, interests, racial and cultural heritages, nationalities, and life experiences. The entering class of 2013 includes 29% students of color, 41% women, and 42% students from outside Wisconsin, with students coming from four countries, 25 states, and 95 undergraduate institutions. Students hail from every university in the Big Ten as well as a range of private and public institutions from across Wisconsin and the nation.  

UW Law School’s nationally recognized faculty also come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. They have been public defenders and prosecutors, corporate lawyers and litigators, and have worked for large law firms, government agencies, and nonprofit institutions. Our faculty is strongly committed to excellence in teaching, combining sophisticated theoretical and analytical perspectives with intense practical training.

All first-year students have one substantive course taught in a “small group,” which enables them to develop close and enduring relationships with that instructor, as well as with fellow law students. Legal writing is also taught in a small class, giving students the chance to develop a supportive community of peers from day one.

The Law School is known for its strong experiential learning opportunities and skills training. Extensive clinical programs give students the opportunity to develop their lawyering skills while helping clients, under the supervision of our remarkable clinical faculty. We offer opportunities in a wide variety of contexts and practice areas, including criminal law, health-care advocacy, and business law and entrepreneurship. Last year, 84% of our students took a clinic or externship course, and many took more than one. Through their clinical work, students transform lives and, in the process, they are transformed as well. We also offer a range of simulation courses, which develop legal skills and judgment and prepare our graduates to be practice-ready when they complete their law school training. 

Throughout their time at the Law School, students are provided the opportunity to interact with practicing lawyers, many of them part of our extensive community of over 14,000 alumni. Through such programs as Pizza with Professionals lunch panels, and other programming and events, students are exposed to the many options available to graduates and begin to build their network of professional connections while still in school. This introduction to what is possible with a UW Law degree starts early and helps students find the career that is their best fit.

The decision to choose law school is an important one, and you’ve already taken the first step by visiting our site and learning all you can about us. I hope you will consider joining this energetic, intellectually engaged and personally supportive community. If we can help as you make your decision, both about whether law school is right for you and whether this law school is the right place for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

Of course, we would welcome the chance to show you all we have to offer in person. To arrange a visit, go to our campus visit page.

Margaret Raymond

Fred W. & Vi Miller Dean and Professor of Law

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